Law firms have been moving from loosely managed associations of professionals to disciplined business organizations for more than a generation. This shift has caused an erosion of professional values (lawyers’ traditional commitment to enhancing society) and has increased the focus on economic return (firms’ relentless quest for escalating profits per partner).

But it is now time for a new paradigm for law firm leaders, as past fissures in firms, caused by relentless business pressures, begin to crack open from the earthquake of the Great Recession.

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